Before I had my eldest, I was a carefree bubbly cheerleader, a confident social butterfly, not afraid to wear risqué fancy dress outfits (aka this looks like underwear but it’s my nurse outfit). After you have a child though, the first few years with your mini-me involves monitoring nappy contents, being tee-total (if like me you were breastfeeding and terrified of giving your child alcohol poisoning despite the many studies proving this isn’t a thing) and of course a constant narrative monologue. Usually along the lines of “Mummy is an idiot and forgot to buy milk for her cup of tea, so we are going to go to the shop and I will comment on everything I see like that old lady crossing the road, and the pigeons fighting over fried chicken from a bin which I’m pretty sure is cannibalism…” and it pretty much goes downhill from there.
So when at 23, I found myself a single mum of two under two, and I was panicking that I would never find anybody again, my lovely sister got me on Tinder. Tinder is great if you’re 23 and can still wear your leopard print string bikini (one day!) and you’re up for ‘fun’ aka meaningless sex. I wanted to meet somebody serious (I know, I can hear you laughing) but I was just too busy mumming to meet anybody properly.
That’s the problem with mumming, I was so out of touch with myself that I was an embarrassment to womankind during my initial dates. In no particular order, here are some of the many sins I committed on my Tinder dates:
No. 1 was an actual MAN.
He was attractive, tall, good looking, so good looking in fact I was terrified to look directly at him. I spent the entire meal staring at my plate and blushing like a school girl!
No. 2’s sister had had a baby recently.
So that was the perfect opportunity to ask if he knew what kind of birth experience she had and then show him YouTube videos of a lotus birth over coffee, right? Wrong!
No. 3 didn’t know he had subscribed to my unfiltered narrative.
I’m not sure if it was the text messages I sent him whilst on the loo or updating him on how many stops I had left on public transport before I reached my destination.
No. 4? we won’t talk about No. 4…
Let’s just say a detailed account of initiating breastfeeding, complete with cracked, bleeding nipples and hand actions were far from the highlights of the evening he was imagining.
No. 5 was cute and way out of my league.
He was older and my intellectual superior, out of sheer intimidation I shook his hand like it was an interview when we said goodbye.
Dating is always scary, but when you’re a single parent to young children it’s a minefield. Just remind yourself, you’re worthy of finding love, be your own cheerleader!